Thursday, February 21, 2013


The characters have changed, but the the similarities between the OJ Simpson murder case and
the events taking place in South Africa right now, are becoming more striking by the hour. Oscar
Pistorious, who like Simpson, gained him fame with his legs, albeit carbon-fiber ones, has been
charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkemp, perhaps in the same type of jealousy-fueled
rage that cost Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman's their lives.

Like OJ, did in 1996, Pistorius  might just get away with it.

This high-profile case, much like the Simpson one, is turning into a circus with police leaks, bad
information, posturing, police blunders, and shockingly, the potential for another rogue cop who could
make this case about everything but the murder of an innocent woman. The only thing missing is a Kato
Kaelin-type of character to play dumb on the witness stand. But as we know, there is plenty of time left
for that to happen.

On Thursday, it was revealed that Hilton Botha, the lead investigator in the cast against Pistorius faces
attempted murder charges himself  over a 2011 incident, a potentially damaging blow to the prosecution. Are you kidding me? Attempted murder? Who missed that one? This case hasn't even gotten to the trial phase yet and it already has its Mark Furhman. Furhman was the LA detective in the Simpson case who found the bloody glove but was discredited after a recording  of a racist rant he made to a woman was played for the nearly all-black jury to hear. It was pretty much game over and an acquittal for Simpson
after that.

The defense team of Pistorius must be still be grinning ear-to-ear after this startling revelation. Punching
holes in his credibility won't be all that hard, will it? Botha found a witness to the events of Valentine's
night in the gated community where Pistorius lived. That witness supposedly heard a shouting match
between Pistorius and Steenkamp from 650 yards away. That's more than 2,000 feet or four city blocks
away! I'm not Columbo or Matlock, but creating reasonable doubt with a jury over that story won't be
overly difficult.

In the two days of bail hearings in South Africa, it's shockingly apparent the prosecution and police investigators are making a lot of the mistakes the LAPD and district attorney's office did in the OJ
Simpson case more than a decade ago. They made an error in saying the substances in the boxes found
in the bedroom of Pistorious were testosterone before the results of the tests on them had been returned.
The testosterone "revelation" was, of course, leaked by somebody in the police department to support
some kind of theory that Pistorious had a sudden case of 'roid rage, which caused him to go ballistic
after finding out an alleged text that Steenkemp received from a former boyfriend.

For crying out loud, there was even the supposed bloody cricket bat to go with the bloody glove
in the Simpson trial. However, the cricket bat isn't going to be the smoking gun the Simpson
prosecution team thought the glove was in 1996, but they screwed that one up, didn't they?

I realize this case hasn't even gotten to trial yet, and won't for quite some time. Whether or not Pistorious
is released on bail will probably be decided before you read this. However, the tent is getting pitched
and will probably won't be enough to cover what is becoming much more than a three-year circus.

What's that old adage? Those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.

We know the Pistorius killed Steenkamp, just as most of us realize that OJ murdered his ex-wife and Goldman. But if the police and prosecution keep screwing up like they are in South Africa, the end result
will remarkably be the same.

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